Articles

Planning For Unconventional Goals

Thursday, Sept 09 2021
Source/Contribution by : NJ Publications

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a vivid change in people's attitude. With time spent at home and the growing uncertainty of life, people have realised that they need to balance their work-life with personal life. A lot of awareness has also spread on the importance of savings and financial well-being. Interestingly, people have also started setting some unconventional goals for themselves as they recover from the pandemic.

Generally, when we talk of financial goals, the usual life goals like education for the child, purchase of home, retirement, marriage for your children, etc., come to mind. However, now with changing times, the goals are also changing. In this article, we will explore some of these new unconventional goals and life-style changes people are increasingly adopting and how to plan for the same.

The unconventional goals:

  1. Early retirement: This goal has topped the list for most of the well-earning employees and professionals. There is a realisation that conventional retirement at age of say 60 years leaves us with little time to enjoy life and/or do something which we really want to do. The new age for retirement for many is now 50 years or even 45 years. Needless to say, this bold step requires a lot of planning and is easier said than done.

  1. Follow your passion as a career:We have seen a huge rise in the popularity of unconventional careers in the last decade. Such unconventional careers have also gained societal acceptance which was missing in past. We now see people following their passions with careers as social media entertainers, YouTube bloggers, fitness/yoga coaches, stand-up comedians, travel guides, trekking companies, adventure sports, authors, and so on. Surprisingly, even people with established careers are now looking to follow their passion and do what they like. Obviously, such a career switch, followed by success is not easy and takes time.

  1. Farming: Across India, we now increasingly find people drawn towards simple living close to nature. Natural or organic farming has a huge draw especially given the health benefits such a lifestyle promises. Many have also explored this option as a substitute or a side-by-side project while continuing with existing career. With the growing awareness for good quality food and healthy living in a natural environment, this has now become a popular goal.

  1. Start a Startup /Own Business. Another increasingly popular goal is to have your own startup. People are now passionate to leverage their skills, knowledge or entrepreneurship in new ideas and businesses. Not everyone wants to work for life as an employee. However, not all ideas get easily funded in advance and a lot of startups are bootstrapped, meaning funded by their own funds.

  1. Break from Career: Earlier, this idea may have raised eye-brows but not now. Especially popular with millennials, the idea is to take a break for a year or two and try to either follow /test your passion or just do what you always wanted to do. After this sabbatical/break is over or enough, one would go back to their career of choice.

  1. Education from reputed college: People who have now gained some experience and are looking to grow in their careers, are now increasingly looking for an education from reputed colleges across India and even beyond. Especially popular are MBA courses for experienced professionals which, even though expensive, looks a good deal from the perspective of getting a brand name, networking and a career boost.

  1. Medical Kitty: There is now a realisation that you need to have a backup plan in case of any emergency. While acceptance and awareness of health insurance plans have greatly increased, people now also realise the need for corpus for medical expenses, especially for the elderly.

  1. Continued education & skill development: With growing competition and rapid advancement in business environment, there is a need to keep updated. Professionals and employees today are will willing to spend money to stay up the curve. This means completing short courses, attending seminars on knowledge, skills development and networking. This too is now becoming very common, especially in metro cities.

  1. Pursue a hobby seriously: Whether be it bike riding, trekking, scuba diving, cycling, fitness or just travelling, people are now increasingly spending a lot of time and money in pursuing such hobbies. People want to pursue them to reach somewhere where they can be considered as 'pro' in such activities. It wouldn't surprise you how many people are now planning for all India tours and even multi-national tours in their cars and bikes. There are many who go on Himalayan treks every now and then. People are now pursuing certificates in activities like fitness, yoga, scuba-diving, sky-diving, para-sailing and so on.

Planning for such goals:

Obviously, apart from deep passion and interest, finance is something that is core to any unconventional goal that you may have for yourself. Various goals need a different kind of planning depending on factors like (a) time horizon (b) frequency, if not once and (c) funds required. Obviously, the need or necessity for any goal is something intangible that you need to decide.

The starting point of all goal planning is a clear understanding of what is needed. There can be two broad variations in the goals discussed above, one which is a one-time goal and the second, which is a recurring goal. For both these type of goals, we must sit and discuss them with an expert so that things can be put on paper.

There is no short-cut and if you are really passionate about pursuing any goal, whether conventional or unconventional, there are few things that you should keep in mind.

  1. Save and invest: There is no doubt that you must aggressively start saving else you will keep burning whatever you have in pursuing your passions. Depending on your personal goals, the choice of the asset class and product will be made where such savings will be invested in.

  2. Control Spendings: While aggressively saving is one side of the coin, cutting down on avoidable /unnecessary expenses is another side. Obviously, your love for a passion or commitment to a goal will determine the extent of how much you cut down on your spendings on shopping, entertainment, gadgets, etc.

  3. Create multiple sources of income: Having alternate sources of income is one of the greatest secrets to wealth creation. The alternate income can easily be directed towards funding your passion so that your usual income is safeguarded and saved towards your usual life goals. Focus on creating multiple sources of income, even with whatever passion you are pursuing.

Conclusion:

There can be no judgements on whether any goal is too unconventional or not. It is your life and you will want to live it fully without regrets. It is important that you have a clear understanding of what you want to do and to pursue it with all your passion. However, it is also important that you do not lose track of your responsibilities and commitments to your family. Striking balance is not easy and that is where planning comes into the picture. Sit down, take the help of your advisor, plan what is feasible and go ahead with the same. There is no stopping you to achieve whatever dreams you may have.

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